Fitness Email Campaign Ideas that are Shockingly Easy to Implement (and Maintain)

Monday, June 6, 2022
Attract & Retain Customers

The fitness industry has evolved exponentially in the past few years, especially when it comes to online communication with customers. Now that you know your target audience is online-savvy, tap that habit to grow your fitness studio with email campaigns designed to recruit and retain new customers. 

Fitness email campaign ideas can complement social media efforts and website promotions by hitting your customer base on multiple fronts.

Plus, email gives you an opportunity to provide more in-depth content and links to keep your audience engaged with your fitness brand, and feeling like an integral part of your community. 

The benefits of fitness email marketing include:

  • Cost Effective. If you create and manage your own fitness email marketing campaigns there’s little cost beyond your time and effort. Many email marketing platforms are free to start and offer low monthly fee plans when your list grows beyond a certain number of subscribers.
  • Easy to Automate. Most email marketing services give you the ability to create email campaigns that fire automatically, which means you can set them up once and be done. For daily, weekly or monthly campaigns you can create your emails in one sitting and set them to go out at certain dates and times, freeing you up to focus on your business.
  • Nurtures Leads. Fitness email marketing campaigns give your gym another touchpoint in your sales funnel and keep potential customers engaged with your brand over time. For example, when a prospect clicks a social media post, enters their contact information into a form on your website or their new student form in-studio, they can automatically be added to an email list, which will send a series of highly targeted messages to their inbox. If you include a strong call to action in each email, these users are much more likely to buy from you. 
  • Increases Member Retention. Keeping your existing members is way more cost effective than spending tons of money on advertising and brand building to gain new members. By sharing valuable content like tips for enhancing fitness and health, updates on new programs, classes and instructors and special promotions, you keep your community feeling important and staying engaged. 

In this blog post we’ll outline a variety of fitness email campaign ideas to boost audience engagement and help you grow your gym or fitness studio. 

How To Grow Your Gym with Fitness Email Campaign Ideas

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you have a high-performing email marketing platform that integrates with your customer contact list. 

Punchpass fitness business software’s integration with email marketing platform, Mailchimp opens exciting new possibilities for growing and nurturing your community.

When you activate this new feature, every time you add a new student to the Punchpass app, their contact information is automatically added to your designated list inside Mailchimp.

If you don’t currently have a Mailchimp account, basic plans are free for the first 2,000 contacts, and super easy to set up.

Once you’ve set up your email marketing integration, you’ll want to outline your fitness business’s goals – like recruiting new customers, up-selling and cross-selling products and services, growing enrollment in special programs and member retention. 

Here are some fitness email campaign ideas to help you achieve success:

Give New Customers a Warm  - Automated - Welcome 

Once you’ve activated the Mailchimp integration inside your Punchpass account, you can set up an automatic welcome email to go out to every new contact using Mailchimp’s email automation feature.

This email is a place to greet new students with the same friendliness and enthusiasm you would shower them with when they walked into their first class. You’re just doing it digitally. So be sure to write your email with lots of personality and care.

Include information and links to supportive content that will help new customers learn about your culture, how to connect with fellow community members and staff and how to get updates on your class schedule, updated pricing and packages, studio and class policies and all your amazing new online class content!

*Pro tip: If you are going to set up a new student welcome email or email series, we recommend that you upload your existing customer contacts to Mailchimp first, before you turn on the automated email campaigns. This will help ensure that your existing customers don’t get “welcome new student” emails when they are added.

Nurture Your Contacts with Meaningful Content & Product & Service Updates 

A great way to retain new students and re-energize existing members who may have disengaged, is to set up a series of automated emails that Mailchimp automatically sends out after certain “trigger” events that you set up.

For example, once your customer list is fully uploaded to Mailchimp, you can create a series of emails that are sent on a specific schedule that you set up. This will save you a ton of time if you invest a little effort up front.

Imagine a series of encouraging emails with motivational tips, workouts of the day, links to your Punchpass content library, your class schedule, social media accounts and announcements about community-building events or contests. 

Let your audience know about fabulous new instructor’s you’ve hired and upgrades to class offerings, facilities improvements and special workshops and programs. 

Highlight new students and/or choose a student of the month and tell their inspiring story!

Create a Win-Back Campaign Using Tags & Audience Segments

Inside Mailchimp, you can create different email lists based on your various “audience segments.” This can be especially helpful with sending specific messaging to groups with different needs and behaviors.

We all know, retention is extra important to your fitness business’ bottom line.

You can create an email or series of emails to send to customers on your list who haven’t been to class – online or in-person – for weeks or months and get them back in the studio.

These messages let disengaged customers know that you value them, miss them and care enough to reach out and let them know. These types of emails are perfect for sending out a special offer to intense students back to class – think a 15 percent off promotional code (you can set this up in Punchpass) or a free weekly pass to try out online classes.

Promote Special Online Fitness Programs

Have you created an online library of fitness classes?

Do you have a 6-Week or 8-Week training program that’s delivered online?

What better delivery method than a beautifully designed email to support you in running special training or workshop programming.

For example, embed your on-demand video class and workshop content into a pre-scheduled and automated Mailchimp campaign with a trigger set for each new customer sign up.

For a six-week personal training series, when a new student is added to your program email list inside Mailchimp, the platform will automatically email them their “workout of the day” and any supplemental content you include – like links to videos and PDFs – for the duration of your program. All you have to do is set it up once, and engage directly with your students when and how you wish.

These types of digital programs can lay a potentially lucrative foundation for upselling customers into in-person private or small group training sessions.

The key to building your fitness business through email is to get creative, be the fun and caring leader that you are, be willing to experiment, and be open to your best customers' feedback and suggestions.

Increase Customer Satisfaction 

Fitness email campaigns are the perfect way to increase customer satisfaction.

First, sending out periodic surveys to get specific, measurable feedback on your staff, classes, environment, and service level is critical to evolving your gym’s customer experience. Make it fun by offering a give-away, like a branded water bottle or t-shirt to those who participate. 

Collecting reviews is also a goldmine for fitness businesses. Check out our recent post on local SEO to learn more about the importance of fresh reviews for your Google My Business profile.

Use a fitness email campaign to let your community know how important their experience of your business is to you, and ask them to leave you an online review on Google. 

If you want to control the quality of reviews, filter your email list to include only those contacts to respond favorably to your survey. Thank them for their positive feedback and ask them politely to share it online. 

Customer Referral Program

Relying on word-of-mouth is a common way many small fitness studios market. But the most successful create customer referral programs to exponentially increase new student attendance. Learn how to set up a fitness customer referral program in our recent post here

Email can play a critical role in any gym’s customer referral program.

A simple email campaign to encourage customer referral is to offer current customers a discount code (which you can set up using Punchpass) to use and share with friends and family.

Make sure to set an expiration date and offer the discount or other promotion for a limited time. You may also want to limit the number of uses per customer and restrict some sales (such as monthly memberships). 

Boost Sales with Special Promotions

Another fantastic way to use promotional codes and email campaigns together is by offering seasonal discounts, holiday specials, or community appreciation sales on your class passes, retail items or workshops and events. 

Punchpass makes it easy to create these codes, and track their use. 

How to Select an Email Marketing Platform

We’ve already mentioned that Punchpass fitness business software offers a built-in integration with Mailchimp. But there are a number of email marketing platforms available to small businesses that would be appropriate for personal trainers or fitness studios.

Here’s what the look for when selecting one:

  • Email templates and campaigns are easy to build
  • Offers responsive email templates
  • Includes Audience segmentation and tagging
  • Has a landing page builder
  • Comes with a subscription form builder
  • Offers automation workflows
  • Is easily integrated with your website
  • Is priced affordably

How to Build Your Fitness Email List

The #1 way to build your gym’s email list is to offer high-value, meaningful content to your subscribers.

Ask yourself as you build each campaign, will this email improve my customer’s life in some way today?

Would I click this subject line and take the time to read this? Or would I delete it?

Another great way to build your list is to use other platforms like your website and social media accounts to drive sign-ups. 

On your website, make sure to prominently display email-sign up boxes and make the call to action compelling. Instead of just “sign up for our email list,” think about catchy invitations such as “get exclusive tips on staying fit and access to special deals and promotions.”

Use social media to run a contest where entrants give their email address in exchange for an entry to win a prize – like a private training session or VIP gym back filled with branded goodies.

Make sure to nurture these leads with an automated series of follow up emails. Again, provide valuable content like instructor bios with training tips, recipes or links to free, online class videos you’ve recorded. 

Fitness Email Campaign Best Practices

As you implement some of our fitness email campaign ideas, remember not to try to do everything at once. Look at your businesses’ goals and prioritize the type of email that will get you to your end result fastest. 

Be sure to track the impact of your email campaigns by measuring:

  • Email open rate (the percentage of users who open your email)
  • Click through rate (the number of clicks to links included in your email)
  • New subscribers (how many new sign ups per week)
  • Unsubscribes (how many users left your list)
The average email marketing open rate is around 20% with the click through rate somewhere between 2 and 3 percent.

Your list growth will depend on how actively you promote your list and across how many channels. Your unsubscribe rate should be below 0.5%. If it’s higher, or you get angry emails complaining about your content or frequency, you know you need to re-think your strategy.

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